Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age” as Want to Read:
The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  409 ratings  ·  28 reviews

Who will be in power in the 21st century? Governments? Big business? Internet titans? And how do we influence the future?

Digital technology is changing power at a faster rate than any time in history. Distrust and inequality are fuelling political and economic uncertainty. The scaffolding built around the global order is fragile, and the checks and balances created over ce

Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by William Collins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Naked Diplomat, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Pieter Baert I think so too. Tom Fletcher is in his 40's and was a diplomat do I believe this is the wrong one.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  409 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Lots of interesting material here, but it’s a bit shapeless and sometimes comes across as though Fletcher just wanted to throw in every thought he’s ever had about diplomacy. There’s 100 pages on the history and development of diplomacy, starting with Neanderthals (no, really). Then he moves on to the modern age and his own career. The most valuable sections deal directly with his own experiences as ambassador to Beirut, and these offer valuable, practical examples of how to use innovative metho ...more
Faiza Sattar
★★★★★ (5/5)
A selection of my favourite passages from the book

• And on the issue of their charm depended A land laid waste with all its young men slain, Its women weeping, and its towns in terror. W. H. Auden, ‘The Embassy’
• Making peace is easier when you have shown you can make war.
• Few jobs can be as exciting, and such a privilege. They give you an extraordinary insight into moments of history, and the characters who shape them.
• Diplomacy is action not reportage, so diplomats will need
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Diplomacy did not exist, we would need to invent it. But it is now much too important to be leave to Diplomats.
Over to you, Your Excellencies.

As an International Relations and Diplomacy/ Global development student this book was recommend to me by many many people, from actual ambassadors I was fortunate enough to meet and lecturers trying to get us to inhale as much information as we could.
The wit that Tom Fletcher brings to such an important issue, one that has a grip on our lives (spoken
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diplomacy
Great book by British diplomat Tom Fletcher on how to use new technologies and social media in order to safeguard the power and relevance of diplomacy for a better world.

Fletcher’s writing and work in Lebanon is very inspiring: I feel pushed to participate and fully use the potential of social media to interact and raise issues the way he did. But it is also very delicate: Ministries of Foreign Affairs are very closed entities, putting severe restrictions on interactions of diplomats with media
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the best books I have ever read on Diplomacy. Tom Fletcher vision on the impact of digital world on diplomacy in the future. The book is discussing if diplomats will be threatened by the existence of social media and how they should interact with the new technologies that appear everyday. We are all born as diplomats, it is an innate trait within us through the evolutionary process. I hugely recommend this book for people who would like to know how technology and social media will be affe ...more
رجاء Rajaâ
Interesting read. I think it could have been more valuable if focused on the present and future, with an overview of other countries practices regarding digital diplomacy.
The chapters directly dealing with Fletcher as Ambassador of his country to Lebanon are in my point of view the best.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tom Argues that the digital age brings with it more possibilities than challenges in diplomacy. He takes you on historical journey of diplomacy and compares with the present. His focus was more on Lebanon and Britain, exactly how much of that experience applies to the rest of the world remains unclear.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shine on you crazy diamond!

Tom's overview of diplomacy as a profession really is much more than just that. It's a preamble to a manifesto for future global coexistence. A fantastic book which is relevant to all of us, not just those working formally in diplomacy.
Jamie B
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Let me start with what this book is not, it is not a 'kiss and tell' memoir recounting all Fletcher's advice to ministers over the years; it is not a dull, monotonous recollection of centuries of historical diplomacy; it is not, in short, what I expected.

Rather, this is a masterful account of how diplomacy has changed since the days of Ug, Castlereagh and Churchill. Whilst in places it may seem pessimistic, it is merely honest and the overall tone of the book is hugely optimistic for what the fu
The Crave  List
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A highly recommended, brilliant read which urges every citizen to act upon crucial transnational issues. A diplomat's main job is to pursue national interest, whereas the 'Naked' diplomat, as Tom eloquently puts it, is a citizen diplomat who steers away from traditional diplomacy to better the world altogether. It's well-written, humorous and witty with important underlying messages.

It was both an honour and a privilege to have met Tom Fletcher in person.

An insightful context of International
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title of the book is self-explinatory, Fletcher reflects on technology and the different aspects it’s affected policy and, most importantly, communication. I found it to be an enjoyable read and a very modern perspective on diplomacy and its role today. Fletcher’s comments on the art of diplomacy are often very tongue in cheek, his tone manages to be critical, yet reflectory and not irreverent. All in all, I’d recommend it to anyone who is curious about how statescraft could evolve in the Di ...more
Jeff Doquesa
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
At first, I was expecting a lot of personal experiences to come up in this book. What I got instead was a compilation of platitudes. If you've read a lot of diplomacy/IR books before, this book offers nothing new. I hope the author just focused on his personal experiences and from their offer valuable insights. Also, there were quite a few grammatical and typo errors. Hoped the editor did a better job.
Ghassan Samaha
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His excellency brings Me closer to a point in which I acknowledge that he acknowledges his imperial baggage though carrying a superb diplomatic “case”!

Soft power compliments hard power and it is not a mere substitution for it: boots on the ground and ebooks in device....keeping peace!!

Yet, the book in hand is a handbook for future Diplomats, state-men and public servants.

p.s.: A question his excellency can think the answer for....why does UK have two embassies????
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read for a hopeful future of digital diplomacy. Tom’s premise is basically that everyone can perform their diplomatic duty through the powerful combination of curiosity and digitalization. It is a fresh read from an ex-ambassador’s modern minds and not the old and dry takes from the usual public servants’ accounts.
Edward Zeinoun
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political
I loved this book. It gives some (false?) hope about Lebanon's future in some parts, which was very refreshing. Tom's love for this country is both confusing and amusing.

It's very well written and entertaining to read, and really clarifies the connection between tech, politics, and diplomacy. I suggest that anyone with the smallest interest in diplomacy and politics read this book.
Eman Alyousuf
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Some chapters were amazing. Others, didn’t present any significant change information. Wish there were more examples and stories.
I read it for my master’s thesis research in cultural diplomacy. Wasn’t very helpful as I expected. However, am sure it’s great for diplomats.
Would recommend it .. due to some great chapters in it
Kruno Stjepanović
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: shelf-2020
The feeling is that the author wrote a book while viewing the UK as the centre of the world, but that's not surprising since the author is a former British diplomat. The book offers nothing new imo, but it's a light and somewhat fun read.
Tom Bevan
Brilliant, sweeping rhetoric with infectious optimism and enthusiasm underpinned with personal anecdotes. I love this book. Just... it felt a bit more like a philosophy book, it let me down in the 'how to' chunk of the title.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
I was inspired by him as a digital Ambassador on Twitter, and some parts of the book, at the end especially, live up to the expectation. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
James Connolly
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a well-written book, full of honest appraisals and hope. Definitely worth a read!
Ramiro Breitbach
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Good read with a lot of insightful ideas, but it seems to lose a bit of rhythm on the second half
Leela Koenig
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A riveting glimpse into the potential future of diplomacy.
Natasha Vasylyuk
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book, inspiring and thought provoking!!

Calls for more to learn, inspires action. Was a timely read for me in times of turbulence in Ukraine.
Thank you!
Scott Christopher
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
"Too male and too pale!"

I only gave one star because it showed little true understanding into the rise of popularism. You will read the same arguments you get in the Guardian or the Times i.e. that big tech allows anyone to publish what they want online and people are swayed by fake news, and not enough minorities in the foreign office- It lacks nuance. Are we really that stupid? White working class males are the biggest under achievers in British schools and the most neglected. I am not surpris
Mihai Clapaniuc
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a must read for diplomats.
I think it is kind of a visionary set-out for diplomatic profession, if you wish to remain relevant as diplomat, you need to adapt to new 'modus-operandi'.
Guess what?
The book and author's enthusiasm and energy led to the publishing of a report on the future of the Foreign Office - British Diplomacy (it is called "Future of FCO report")
Oliver Milne
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
A really nice overview of the history of diplomacy with some visions for the future.

It failing is its failure to properly defend its relentless - and occasional infectious- optimism about both the future of technology and geopolitics.

Definitely worth a read though.
rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2020
rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2018
Annejet Alberda
rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2019
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Origins of Totalitarianism
  • A Short History of England
  • The World: A Brief Introduction
  • Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking
  • For the Record
  • L'usage de la photo
  • Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood
  • Race Manners in the 21st Century: Navigating the Minefield Between Black and White Americans in an Age of Fear
  • Akira, Vol. 3
  • Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists
  • Shadowplay: Behind the Lines and Under Fire: The Inside Story of Europe's Last War
  • Akira, Vol. 2
  • Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody
  • Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa
  • Naked Diplomacy
  • World Order
  • Women, Race & Class
  • Architecting for Scale: How to Maintain High Availability and Manage Risk in the Cloud
See similar books…
Tom Fletcher CMG is a Visiting Professor of International Relations at New York University, and Senior Advisor to the Director General at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. He was British Ambassador to Lebanon (2011-15), and the Downing Street foreign policy adviser to three Prime Ministers, (2007-11). He is an Honorary Fellow of Oxford University, and the Global Strategy Director for the Global Bus ...more

News & Interviews

The prolific and beloved author John Grisham, known for his courtroom thrillers, is back this month with a new pageturner, A Time for Mercy,...
21 likes · 0 comments
“Increasingly, it matters less what a prime minister or diplomat says is ‘our policy’ on an issue – it matters what the users of Google, Facebook or Twitter decide that it is. Set-piece” 0 likes
“Benjamin Franklin put it at a time of similiar uncertainty: “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” 0 likes
More quotes…